Small businesses hit by complex tax rules

Nia Williams

March 1, 2010

Research carried out by the FSB and ICM of over 1,600 small businesses showed that 75% of small businesses believe that they would be able to grow their business if the UK tax system was simplified.

Over a third (34%) of businesses surveyed said they found income tax the most difficult issue to deal with, while 52% citied taxable allowances – the amount a person is taxed on – hardest to get to grips with. Over half (52%) said VAT is the easiest type of taxation to understand.

Many businesses do not feel confident dealing with tax issues, with 66% employing professional help. Half of businesses spend less than two hours per week on fulfilling their tax responsibilities, but for one in 10 it takes up more than six hours of their time.

John Wright, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “The Government must recognise how important small businesses are to strengthening economic recovery. As our survey findings show, three in four would grow their business if the tax system was more simple to understand. The potential investment and jobs which could be created through such a move would provide the economy with the boost it needs to sustain recovery.

“As we head towards a General Election the message from small businesses is clear: the incoming Government must think small first and get conditions right for entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive.”

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